Up in Smoke!

Unlike the horribly misguided but influential Italian wine critic Luca Maroni (who criticizes some truly amazing wines as being “contaminated” with smoky, brambly, earthy flavors when, in fact, that is what makes them A, great and B, unique), we first try to figure out what a producer is TRYING to do before trashing them for not making a standardized “product” just like everyone else. Well, what THESE guys are trying to do is push the envelope of the food friendly whiff of smoke or tar by actually SMOKING their raw materials before fermentation. The Schlenkerla is one of our absolute favorites with sausages, Thai food, great cheeses, Jack in the Box Bacon Cheeseburgers or BBQ. Don’t be afraid, they won’t hurt you:

Brauerei Heller Aecht Shlenkerla Maerzen Rauchbier, Bamberg Germany

Brauerei Heller Aecht Shlenkerla Ür-Bock Rauchbier, Bamberg Germany

Made from Beechwood smoked malt, these literally smell like a great smoked sausage (and we mean that in a VERY good way) and ves been a tradition in Franconia for centuries where the locals recommend it as a fine morning pint, a delicious light lunch or a stimulant to good conversation and note that the 2nd and 3rd pints are not as shocking as the first.